- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
UC ANR joined the California Department of Food and Agriculture and other organizations in highlighting the benefits of soil health and biodiversity for California Healthy Soils Week 2022.
During the week of Dec. 5-9, the UC Master Gardener Program hosted two Facebook Live webinars and UC Cooperative Extension co-hosted a Sustainable Nutrient Management & Soil Health Field Day in Salinas.
For the “Healthy Soil: In Nature Sometimes Less is More” webinar, Mike Corby, UC Master Gardener volunteer in Contra Costa County, shared insights for improving soil health in the garden. A recording of the 47-minute webinar is published on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Y9M5uQtzLyk.
For “Harnessing the Magic of the Soil Food Web: Turning Dirt into Gold,” Kit Veerkamp, UC Master Gardener volunteer in El Dorado County, discussed why soil health matters and how to modify soils to improve plant health and reduce disease and pests. A recording of the 56-minute webinar is published on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Hqd-XDy81H0.
The Wine Institute, California Association of Winegrape Growers and Community Alliance with Family Farmers hosted representatives from CDFA, the California Legislature, the California Environmental Protection Agency, California Natural Resources Conservation Services, and other climate-focused agencies from around the state for a healthy soils tour of Bogle Family Vineyards in Yolo County.
At Bogle Family Vineyards, Konrad Mathesius, UCCE agronomy advisor for Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties; and Hope Zabronsky, climate smart agriculture academic coordinator for the California Institute for Water Resources, gave presentations.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service hosts the Web Soil Survey, which provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95% of the nation's counties. Phil Smith, California NRCS area resource soil scientist, and Tony Rolfes, California state soil scientist, presented a webinar on how to use the Web Soil Survey and other web tools for gathering soils information and maps. The Web Soil Survey webinar is posted at https://youtu.be/cuEMuxLGQO0.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Savannah Hicks has been promoted to the role of executive assistant, supporting Vice Provost David Bunn and UC ANR Second Street Building Operations.
As executive assistant, Hicks will be assisting with calendaring, meeting and events management and purchasing, as well as many other essential duties in support of the research and extension centers, county offices and statewide programs and institute leaders.
She will also be supporting the Second Street Space and Operations Committee and helping to coordinate projects and meetings, including monthly networking events and current space moves.
Hicks, who earned a bachelor's degree in communications at CSU Sacramento, joined UC ANR's Statewide Program and Research Operations Unit a few months ago and was selected to fill this new role following an open search.
Before joining ANR, she was an office manager at Evolve BioSystems, a startup that specializes in a probiotic for babies to help them get the benefits of mother's breast milk.
Hicks is based at the UC ANR Second Street Building and can be reached at (530) 285-3249 and email@example.com.
Rachel Shellabarger and Hope Zabronsky have joined the California Institute for Water Resources, both as academic coordinator II.
Shellabarger will be responsible for coordinating CIWR's work with the National Institutes for Water Resources, as well as work on a new nitrogen and irrigation management program. She comes to us from UC Santa Cruz, where her recent Ph.D. research sought to better understand how California dairy producers engage with environmental initiatives.
An environmental scientist who grew up farming, Shellabarger is drawn to interdisciplinary work that crosses traditional boundaries. She previously researched conflict among conservation and human rights groups on the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as wetland mitigation efforts in Midwest agricultural landscapes. She also taught undergraduate Natural Sciences coursework for six years and worked with refugee resettlement agencies.
She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Wartburg College, a master's degree in natural resources from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz.
Hope Zabronsky will be responsible for coordinating CIWR's Climate-Smart Agriculture Program and working with the team of technical assistance providers.
Zabronsky comes to UC ANR from Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in San Diego, where she directed the center's educational and research programs focused on sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, community-based leadership, and career-technical education.
Previously, she managed statewide climate resilience projects at Strategic Energy Innovations, supported agricultural and climate adaptation research in Southern Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute, and studied climate-smart agriculture practices in California and Malawi as part of the Research Group on Agricultural Equity and Inclusion at UC Davis.
She earned her bachelor's degree in environmental studies, sustainability and political science from the University of Vermont and master of science in international agricultural development from UC Davis.
Zabronsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brent Holtz, director and pomology farm advisor for San Joaquin County, and members of the Almond Board of California won the Golden Agricultural Relations Council Award for Digital & Social Media: Video for "RESILIENCE: The Whole Orchard Recycling Origin Story."
The six-minute documentary produced by the Almond Board of California features the inspiring story of Holtz's journey to help his family, his industry and his community by finding an alternative to burning trees removed from orchards.
The documentary was produced by the Almond Board's Jenny Nicolau, Daren Williams, Ross Thomas and David Gomar.
The Golden ARC Awards honor the stellar work created by professionals in the agricultural industry. They are judged by members of the Public Relations Society of America and are heavily weighted on measurable results achieved against the objectives.
Read more about the documentary project at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=51471&.
UC ANR communicators win ACE awards
UC ANR communicators received recognition from their peers in the Association for Communication Excellence, or ACE, international awards program.
Doralicia Garay won a Bronze Award for her wildfire preparedness social media campaign in the “organic” (unpaid) social media campaign category. During summer 2021, she created the Wildfire Preparedness social media campaign amid the active wildfire season in California. The campaign focused on delivering content that directed UC ANR's online audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to essential information on preparing homes and business structures for wildfire, also known as structure hardening. Given the high fire activity at the time, she also incorporated the Fire Locator map tool as a resource for wildfire evacuations. The campaign culminated with a Facebook Live session featuring UCCE forestry advisors Susie Kocher and Yana Valachovic and emeritus UCCE advisor Steve Quarles.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won two awards. She earned a Gold Award in the “writing for newspapers” category, for a feature story on Rebecca Jean “RJ” Millena, published in March 2021, a few months before Millena graduated with a bachelor's degree in entomology. “An Amazing Doctoral Opportunity Few Receive” centered on Millena's four-year, full-ride doctoral fellowship from the American Museum of Natural History.
Garvey earned a Silver Award for her photo story titled “The Flight of the Bumble Bee,” posted June 14, 2021, on her daily (Monday-Friday) Bug Squad blog on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website.